The Halo is Pantheon Steel's addition to a new twenty-first century family of instruments and sound sculpture descended from the steel pan. It is a resonant steel instrument played by hand in the lap; it is designed to engage the body and mind of the player in a new way. Rich in timbre and very expressive, and with no "wrong" notes to play, the Halo is made for free improvisation and meditative exploration. There as many styles of Halo play as there are players.
While unique in its specifics, the Halo was inspired by a revolutionary and evolutionary twenty-first century sound sculpture invented in Switzerland which may be familiar to many of our customers. We originally used this space to express personal gratitude to that sculpture's creators, but they asked that we not mention it by name. Out of respect to their wishes, we have removed those remarks and other references throughout our website, but our gratitude remains the same.
For over two years we worked to develop a contribution to this new art form, which we call a "handpan." We hope to demonstrate respect for the original's creators by not making a copy of their unique sculpture. Instead, we developed our own custom processes and materials in pursuit of a creation with a new voice. We feel we realized that vision in the Halo, an instrument with a soulful and rich timbre of its own, one capable of a powerful sonic experience.
The first generation Halo, now dubbed the Halo Genesis, is larger and heavier than the sculpture that inspired its creation, allowing it to have a lower voice, a baritone to the original's tenors and altos. The warmth and projection of this lowered register creates a brand new tonal and physical experience for players.
That Halo Genesis was joined in 2010 by by a new sibling, the Halo Stratus, which has a much higher register. Crafted with the same techniques but with a personality all its own, the high-voiced Stratus can sing on its own, or join its baritone brother the Halo in duets or to provide a wider range to a single player.
New in 2011 is the Halo Cirrus, a mid-register instrument serving to expand the range into the rich timbrel range most similar to the human voice and cello.
Contemporary Halos (as of 2013) are being made with an Inpex, an inset concave well as a center note, instead of a traditional dome (Apex).
More information can be found at Pantheon Steel's website, http://pantheonsteel.com
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July 16, 2013 Subject:
If you are looking for some new (forward thinking / world) music or are interested in the Handpan family of instruments, this is a rich source of sound files for your pleasure.
5 stars, no question. I must have listened to these samples a million times trying to find the ONE sound model. The answer is there isn't just one, and that Pantheon Steel is correct when they say that you would be happy with any of them.
I hope this review turns some more people onto the world of singing steel (handpans). There is a wealth of information and music on archive and I love the live jam shows, but these samples are my favorite on this entire website. Give them a listen and find out why,